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Phalangeal Injuries, Hand

Phalangeal Injuries, Hand is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Emergency Consult.

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  • 1/3 of all traumatic injuries affect the hand.
  • Phalanges account for 1 of the most frequently fractured parts of the skeletal system with the distal phalanx being the most commonly fractured bone in the hand.
  • Dorsal displacement of the proximal interphalangeal joint of the finger is the most frequent dislocation.

Pediatric Considerations
Injuries may be more difficult to diagnose in children who are unable to cooperate for a full exam.


  • Trauma (commonly work or sports related)
  • Infectious sequelae:
    • Skin flora: Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococci
    • Cat/dog bites: S. aureus and Pasteurella multocida
    • Human bites: Eikenella
    • Thorns or woody plants puncture: Fungal
    • Fresh/salt water exposure: Mycobacterium marinum and Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Overuse injury (e.g., “gamekeeper's thumb”)

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Rosen, Peter, et al., editors. "Phalangeal Injuries, Hand." 5-Minute Emergency Consult, 5th ed., Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2016. Emergency Central, emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307145/all/Phalangeal_Injuries__Hand.
Phalangeal Injuries, Hand. In: Rosen P, Shayne P, Barkin AZ, et al, eds. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. 5th ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307145/all/Phalangeal_Injuries__Hand. Accessed April 25, 2019.
Phalangeal Injuries, Hand. (2016). In Rosen, P., Shayne, P., Barkin, A. Z., Wolfe, R. E., Hayden, S. R., Barkin, R. M., & Schaider, J. J. (Eds.), 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Available from https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307145/all/Phalangeal_Injuries__Hand
Phalangeal Injuries, Hand [Internet]. In: Rosen P, Shayne P, Barkin AZ, Wolfe RE, Hayden SR, Barkin RM, Schaider JJ, editors. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. [cited 2019 April 25]. Available from: https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307145/all/Phalangeal_Injuries__Hand.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Phalangeal Injuries, Hand ID - 307145 ED - Rosen,Peter, ED - Shayne,Philip, ED - Barkin,Adam Z, ED - Wolfe,Richard E, ED - Hayden,Stephen R, ED - Barkin,Roger M, ED - Schaider,Jeffrey J, BT - 5-Minute Emergency Consult UR - https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307145/all/Phalangeal_Injuries__Hand PB - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins ET - 5 DB - Emergency Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -